LSU coach Paul Mainieri flung up his hands.
This was not the start he had hoped for.
Coastal Carolina scored two runs in the first inning off LSU miscues in the Tigers’ 4-3, season-ending loss to the Chanticleers on Sunday night – two of them in the infield, a pet peeve for the 10th-year coach and ex-second baseman.
Miscommunication between first baseman Greg Deichmann and second baseman Cole Freeman left first base open for Anthony Marks, the first batter of the game. It was ruled a single. Marks moved to second, tagging on a deep flyout to center field. Jake Fraley’s throw didn’t reach the infield in time.
Jared Poché walked Connor Owings before catcher Mike Papierski failed to handle a third-strike, wild pitch from the junior left-hander. The ball skidded away from the catcher, rolling toward the first-base dugout as Marks came home for a 1-0 lead.
G.K. Young followed with an RBI single before Poché’s second strikeout ended the inning.
“You know,” Maineri said, “there’s nothing more frustrating for me than when we play poor fundamentals because, obviously, the coach is responsible for that. We work on things all the time, and, you know, tonight we just had some miscommunication.”
Issues surrounding first base flared up later in the second game of the Baton Rouge super regional. In the sixth, Deichmann and Freeman both went for a chopper in the hole, a ball Freeman was poised to get before Deichmann darted in front of him. The ball slipped into the outfield for a single.
“Those are balls that have been happening all year. We’ve been ... I don’t want to say getting the breaks, but those are tough plays to communicate,” Freeman said. “If I can get to the ball, I’m supposed to call (Deichmann off) and, if I don’t think so, I’ve got to let him try to make the play. Everything happens so fast. Just miscommunication. Those plays have to be made, but they just weren’t tonight.”
LSU infielders didn’t have their best game.
In the seventh, Freeman bobbled a shot for an error, allowing the leadoff man on. In the eighth, Kramer Robertson’s error — a low throw to first — allowed the leadoff man to reach base.
Freeman to speak with Dodgers
Freeman will enter contract talks with the Los Angeles Dodgers in a couple of days, he told The Advocate on Sunday night, but he has not made a decision on next season.
The junior was selected in the 18th round by the Dodgers on Saturday.
“I’m going to end up talking to the Dodgers in the next couple of days, see what they have to offer. We’ll go from there,” he said.
Duplantis an All-American
Right fielder Antoine Duplantis was named a Louisville Slugger freshman All-American.
The Lafayette native entered Sunday’s game batting .325 with 38 RBIs. He has held down the leadoff spot for the Tigers all season. The speedster had an on-base percentage of .401 before Sunday. He began his career earlier this year with a 19-game hitting streak.
Duplantis’ streak fell one game short of tying Blake Dean for second among LSU freshman hitting streaks. Duplantis’ streak was the longest to begin an LSU career since 1997.
LSU fans ‘unbelievable’
Coastal Carolina coach Gary Gilmore enjoyed his first experience at Alex Box Stadium on Saturday night – and not only because his team routed the Tigers.
“I’ll tell you what, the atmosphere, I’ve been in a lot of ballparks in college baseball, and the atmosphere here is as good as anywhere I’ve ever been,” he said. “As noisy and loud as it was, I didn’t hear one person say anything inappropriate. I wish every ballpark was like this, to be honest with you. It was an incredible experience. Their fans are unbelievable.”
Missing the man
Coastal Carolina played without its hottest hitter Sunday.
Seth Lancaster, the Chanticleers’ second baseman, injured his knee during a slide into home plate in Coastal’s 11-8 win Saturday night. Lancaster reached base in all five trips on Sunday, going 4-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.
Lancaster was hitting .444 since May 6, according to The Sun News, the outlet covering the Chanticleers. Cameron Pearcey replaced Lancaster, his first start in nearly three months.
Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson attended Sunday night’s game. He watched from the Coastal Carolina fan section behind the first base dugout. The Chanticleers were the home team Sunday, so their fans occupied the seats behind that dugout. Coastal moves to the Sun Belt next month. … Greg Deichmann extended his hitting streak to six games with a single in the second inning Sunday. … Before Sunday’s game, LSU paid tribute to the victims of the overnight shooting in an Orlando, Florida, club. A moment of silence was held, and the three flags in center field were lowered to half-staff.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @RossDellenger.